The Government has set ambitious targets for reducing numbers in the public service. Underpinned by the additional hours and new workplace flexibilities contained in Haddington Road and supported by reform initiatives such as shared services and outsourcing the Government expects a leaner, more effective public service into the future.
The transition to this improved state is challenging. Shedding staff numbers, maintaining service levels and rolling out service delivery reform is difficult; but it is necessary.
For the last full recorded year, 2012, the reduction in public service numbers was on target overall. So far, progress in 2013 is less than required but Ministers and their departments know what they are required to do.
My Department is supporting a range of reform options across the system to help sectoral managers achieve the type of organisational restructuring and changes to service delivery models required to protect the quality of the public service, especially on the frontline, as it reduces in size.